The Holy Lake Manasarovar!

Lake Mansarovar is a freshwater lake in the Tibet autonomous region. It is very close in distance to the sources of important rivers such as Brahmaputra, Karnali, Sutlej and Indus. The word “Manasarovara” originates from Sanskrit, which is a combination of the words “Manas” & “Sarovara”; manas meaning mind and sarovara meaning lake. According to the Hindu scriptures, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma after which it manifested on Earth.

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When you reach Mansarovar Lake, the light blue expanse of water nestled amongst the high Himalayan Mountains looks heavenly.  One of the most serene and sublime beauty will be in front of you.  The first instinct was to go and touch the water and take a dip after the long arduous journey we had taken.

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This body of water is considered one of the last remnants of the Tethys Ocean, which was the crucible of human and other animal evolution.

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Mansarovar is of religious significance to four religions – Hindu, Bon, Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, it is believed that one who drinks from this lake will reach the home of Lord Shiva upon death. In Bon religion, this lake is associated with Zhang Zhung Meri. The founder of the religion apparently washed himself in the lake. In Jainism, this lake is associated with the Thirtannkara, Rishaba.

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This lake is also the home for the Hamsa goose in the summer time. The Hamsa goose is a very important symbol of the mythology, representing wisdom and beauty.

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In Buddhism, this lake is considered holy because Buddhists believe their god was conceived near this lake and that he meditated here several times. Buddhists associate Mansarovar with the legendary Anotatta Lake, where Buddha’s mother, Queen Maya, conceived him. Legend says that the Queen, while in a dream state, was transported to Mansarovar by the Gods and bathed in the lake’s holy waters. When her body was purified and her womb thus ready to receive Buddha, he appeared from the direction of Kailash riding a white elephant.

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Given its mythical importance to Buddhists, a ring of eight Buddhist monasteries once surrounded the lake, which was visualized as the Wheel of Life. A complete parikrama of the lake, passing all eight monasteries, represented a symbolic turn of the Wheel. Through this act, a pilgrim would accumulate a variety of blessings and benefits.

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Even today you can witness the past of Tibet. You get to see many of the Buddhist temple remains on the shores of Lake Manasarovar.

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